Early Fall Feelings, Noontootla Creek Farms, Bears & the Mast Crop, Festival Season Begins

September finished out rather cool and wet by our standards, and the feeling of fall is definitely in the air. There’s a fair number of leaves on the ground already, and it won’t be long before I’ll have to dig out the leaf blower. The meterologists say that El Nino is going to bring us a wet winter, and it seems to me that an early fall is in the offing as well, if it isn’t yet official.

Rob Kaser gave us a brief tour of Noontootla Creek Farms the other day, and as I expected, it is a very beautiful property, especially down by the creek. I believe Rob said they had three miles on Noontootla, which is one of our most highly regarded trout streams. I will say that it’s amazing how many huge trout we saw milling around. As Rob admitted, they aren’t easy to catch, with people banging on them every day, but I imagine it would be very rewarding for the expert fly fisherman. It’s all catch and release, fly fishing only. I believe Rob said a guided half day was $250. They also have a sporting clays range that’s open Thursday through Sunday and they offer hunting for farmed quail and pheasant. They’re selling memberships for $250, which includes 200 targets the first year, free cart rental, and a 5% discount on hunting and fishing. One disappointment for me was that they do not allow members access to the property except for paid hunting and fishing. It’s a policy I hope they reconsider, as it would be a beautiful place to picnic or walk by the creek occasionally. As always, Rob is full of ideas for the property, and there’s lots that could be done with it in the future, so I wish them luck.

The DNR sent around an alert the other day that said essentially that the mast crop – that’s wildlife biologist talk for acorns – was light this year, and that’s leading the bear to seek alternative food sources. That means more human-bear encounters. They urge folks to be vigilant about keeping food sources like pet food or bird seed away from the house. Use common sense and don’t feed them, mess with them, or approach them. Mothers are especially protective of their cubs, so stay well away from them.

This weekend is the Fall Festival at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. This is one of the best fall festivals, with some 240 vendors of crafts and foods. If you aren’t familiar with the folk school, this is a perfect time to go, as they will offer some 4o craft demonstrations. There will also be music and other activities. (See their website for a full description on the event.) They remind people that they have no ATMs, and while some vendors will accept plastic, cash is a good idea. If you go, be sure to visit the gift shop. It’s a perfect place to find unusual Christmas gifts. That’s October 3rd and 4th, from 10:00 – 5:00. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 12-17.

The Blue Ridge Home Builders Showcase is Saturday in the downtown park, from 9:00 – 5:00.

Indian Summer Festival is Saturday at the Woody Gap School in Suches.

The Sorghum Festival is coming up in Blairsville, October 10 & 11, and October 17 & 18. It’s held in Meeks Park, which is on 515 on the west end of Blairsville. Admission is $4 with children under 12 free.

In Blue Ridge, Paws in the Park is October 17th from 10:00 – 2:00. The parade of animals starts at 10:00 at the corner of East Main and Church Street. There will also be a rabies clinic, microchipping, a 5K run, and the Mutt Mile.



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